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Easier financing options for Kenyan SMEs

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – Small and medium enterprise (SME) clients of Barclays Bank will now have easier financing options for setting up IT services following the signing of an agreement with AccessKenya.

Dubbed SmartAccess, the product aims at giving better rates from AccessKenya for Internet and IT services to Barclays customers.

AccessKenya’s Managing Director for Internet Division Kris Senanu pointed out that the SME sector has complained of lack of access to good Internet and IT services needed to grow their business to the next level.

“Not only do SMEs want reliable and affordable internet connectivity but they also want a reliable network infrastructure within their office so that their IT functions properly at all times,” Mr Senanu said.

Barclays Commercial Banking Director Nick Mbuvi said the move demonstrated the bank’s commitment to the SME sector, which he said, was one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.

“The partnership is anchored on the unique potential of the SME sector in spurring economic growth and job creation,” Mr Mbuvi said.

With Internet banking becoming increasingly popular, Mr Mbuvi expects SmartAccess will attract new customers onto the bank’s Internet banking platform.

“Over the years, a significant number of Barclays corporate customers signed on to the online service, which will be bolstered following the partnership with Access Kenya,” he said.

The partnership between the two companies is expected to bring on board a new client base for both companies with AccessKenya targeting close to 3,000 customers from the Barclays SME portfolio as the bank angles itself to get 2,500 customers at Access to join the bank.

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The deal aims at improving IT usage among SME customers as they will enjoy support from AccessKenya\’s relationship managers as well as strategic partners from leading ICT companies, including Oracle, Cisco, NetApp, and IBM.

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